A few months ago we launched our Dreadfleet Painting Competition to find the best painted warships on the high seas of the Warhammer world. The competition ended at Midnight on New Year's Eve and we were pleasantly surprised (but also a little shocked) to see so many entries arrive at about ten minutes to midnight. With over 300 entries in total (312 to be precise), this has been one of the largest online competitions we've ever run, so thank you to everyone that entered - you've done some great work with these kits and you've certainly inspired a lot of us in the office to get our own warships finished. So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I give you the winners of the online Dreadfleet Painting Competition:
The Heldenhammer painted by Paco López Pérez (Spain)
Paco painted the Heldenhammer before attaching it to the base that comes with it - a useful tip that we've seen many people use over the last few months. Most of his time was spent painting the detail on the sails, highlighting them over several layers from Iyanden Darksun up to Bleached Bone. Once the warship was complete, Paco sprayed the base with Necron Abyss and then added further highlights with Shadow Grey and Space Wolves Grey. A thin wash of Thraka Green finished it off nicely.
The Swordfysh painted by Daniel Brice (France)
You might be surprised to know that Daniel painted the Swordfysh (generally quite a dark model), over a white undercoat. He then painted much of the model using an airbrush before highlighting and washing it using brushes. The sails and the base were painted separately - a sensible idea when painting the sails because it's not easy to paint the detail when they're all stuck to the masts in front of each other.
The Flaming Scimitar painted by Vladimir Drachkovitch. (France)
When painting the Flaming Scimitar, Vladimir followed the painting guide in October's White Dwarf for the basic colours before adapting it with his own painting style to finish it off. He used several glazes on the sails to get the smooth transition of colour, but the really outstanding feature was the flaming scimitar on the sail itself, which was painted using the non-metallic metal technique.
Grimnir's Thunder painted by Alexandre Ricome (France)
What really stood out on Alex's model was how different it looked to all the other Dwarf warships that we received. Rather than paint Grimnir's Thunder with its traditional green details, Alex went for a deep purple instead and embellished the hull with a black and white checked pattern to break up the large flat panels that make up the body of the warship.
The Seadrake painted by Gareth Nicholas (UK)
We've already featured Gareth's version of the Seadrake on the blog, but in the end it turned out to be the winning entry in the High Elf category. To find out more about how Gareth painted it, check out this blog post. What we were particularly impressed with was how Gareth converted his warship by adding the rigging to it and listing it slightly to the right (sorry, starboard...) to give the impression that it was being blown by the wind.
The Bloody Reaver painted by Chris Straw and George Dellapina (UK)
Some people really went to town on their Dreadfleet set, and Chris and George were no exception. Their main challenge was keeping the highlights sharp and precise to emphasise the enormity of the warships they were painting. The large scale of the kits also provided them with several opportunities to do some beautiful freehand work like the name of the ship on the main sail.
The Shadewraith painted by Thilo Engels (Germany)
As soon as we saw Thilo's version of the Shadewraith we were captivated. When he started painting it he imagined what a ship may look like after many years submerged beneath the waves and so went for a dark, sinister look rather than the traditional ghostly green/white colour scheme. Most of the model is painted using several very light drybrushes, beginning with Dark Angels Green and working through Snot Green, Goblin Green and Bubonic Brown.
The Curse of Zandri painted by Lech Wokal (Poland)
Lech is lucky enough to own two Dreadfleet sets, but then suffered the problem of choosing which warships to enter into the competition. Well, suffice to say, his rendition of the Curse of Zandri certainly caught our eye. The sandstone statues combined with the green glow from the Light of Ptra gave the model a really different, but very strong colour scheme.
The Black Kraken painted by Chris Straw and George Dellapina (UK)
George and Chris earn themselves a second prize (I guess that's one each...) with their version of the Black Kraken. This was probably one of the hardest categories for us to choose a winner because pretty much all of them looked the same - black and silver! In the end, their fantastically realistic water and green glowing eyes seized the prize for them. The water was built up from Regal Blue through Enchanted Blue and Ice Blue to an Ice Blue/Skull White mix. Green and blue washes were then added to provide some variety on each base.
The Skabrus painted by Duncan Palmer (Country unknown)
Like Gareth's High Elf warship above, we've already shown the next two entries before, and in the end they both turned out to be winners. Originally we planned to have one winner in each category and then one of those winners would get the overall prize of the huge art print from the Dreadfleet rulebook. However, when we all voted for our favourite entries, both Duncan and Mo's version of the Skabrus had almost the same number of votes. So in the end we decided to award Duncan a signed art print of the Skabrus, too as an honourable runner-up.
And so, with a clash of paintbrushes, the overall winner of the Dreadfleet Painting Competition is *drumroll please*
The Skabrus painted by Mo Ganji (Germany)
As soon as we saw Mo's entry, we knew we were onto something good. Well, good in a model making and painting way - there is certainly nothing good about an army of Undead Skaven floating around on the sea in the rotting corpse of a giant Undead fish. What really stood out was the level of detail Mo managed to put into the miniature - it really is exceptional. From the mottled and bleamished skin to the glowing green warpstone bell and totally rotten pus-filled insides, every millimetre of this model is beautifully painted.
For all the winners, we will be getting in touch with you over the next few days to find out where we need to send your prizes. Mo, we'll also be in touch to figure out how to send this massive framed picture to you (which could be very entertaining for the guys in our post room...).
Thank you to everyone who entered, and make sure you keep your eyes open for our next online painting competition.
Remember, we still have a few copies of Dreadfleet left, so if you didn't get a copy for Christmas then now's your chance to get your hands on one (or two if you're in need of some online retail therapy).